Lazy tamago bento recipe with tamago-yaki rolled omelettes

  • 1 bento

Make a healthy and delicious lunch with this recipe from Sara Kiyo Popowa's book Bento Power

Lazy Tamago Bento recipe

“Making ‘tamago-yaki‘ – Japanese rolled omelette – the traditional way may seem a little daunting, but here is my fail-proof, super-reduced version that‘s ready in 2 minutes (yes, really!),” Sara says.

“It was one of the first recipes Andy tested for this book and he makes it all the time now for his own bentos. Layering the egg with a nori sheet in the pan makes it easy to flip and fold, and adds both nutritional value and good looks. Lazy tamago is great practise before attempting the original tamago-yaki – rolled omelette bento.”



  • Radicchio leaves a few
  • Cucumber 2cm, thinly sliced, ideally using a mandolin if you have one
  • Tamari seeds or any toasted nuts or seeds
  • Brown rice vinegar 1/2 tsp
  • Sea salt a pinch
  • Gochugaru (Korean pepper) a pinch
  • Blood orange a wedge
  • Toasted sesame seeds to taste
  • Herbs to garnish, (optional)

For the tamago

  • Organic egg 1
  • Oil to fry
  • Sea salt and chilli flakes a pinch of each
  • Nori sheet 1

For the quinoa sunflower rice

  • White Japanese rice 150g
  • Quinoa 80g, red or black makes a nice contrast to the white rice
  • Sunflower seeds 2 tbsp
  • Water 350ml
  • Sea salt or tamari 1/2 tsp


To make the quinoa sunflower rice

  • Step 1

    To make the quinoa sunflower rice, wash the grains and seeds with cold water directly in your cooking pot, trying to rub off as much of the cloudy starch as possible. Discard the water and repeat. Drain completely and add the measured water for cooking.

  • Step 2

    Cover and bring to the boil, then simmer over a low heat for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to rest with the lid on for 5 minutes. While still hot, fold in the salt and vinegar, taking care not to crush the grains too much. Let it cool. This will make 2-3 portions, which can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.

To make the tamago

  • Step 1

    To make the tamago, crack the egg into a glass jar with a lid. Add salt and chilli, then close the lid tightly and give it a really good shake. Heat a medium frying pan over a medium heat until hot, then drizzle with a little oil. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and quickly tilt to cover the surface like a crêpe. Immediately place the whole nori sheet on top and within seconds you‘ll see your tamago curling up at the sides, ready to fold in three. Slide onto a clean chopping board and leave to cool slightly before cutting into bite-sized strips.

To assemble the bento

  • Step 1

    To arrange the bento, arrange one portion of the rice in one end of your box and use a piece of radicchio leaf as a bowl for the lazy tamago. Use baking paper to make a small pocket each for the cucumber slices and toasted nuts. Drizzle the rice vinegar over the cucumber and sprinkle with a little salt and gochugaru. The cucumber will marinate slightly by lunchtime. Add the orange and finish with a sprinkle of sesame and herbs, if using. Pack the box in a bento bag or furoshiki with chopsticks or a fork.

Bento Power cover

This recipe is an edited extract from Bento Power by Sara Kiyo Popowa (Kyle Books, £18.99)